“Family-friendly” often means that there will be a Children’s Menu, mac and cheese, crayons, and a paper tablecloth . . . or that the master of ceremonies will avoid anatomical jokes in favor of balloon animals.
But when it comes to hot jazz, the Reynolds Brothers are always family-friendly, since Ralf (washboard and commentary) and John (vocals, guitar, banjo, whistling, and commentary) are brothers. Apparently they are friendly as well! Katie Cavera (string bass, vocals) and Marc Caparone (cornet, vocals) are related only in their love of deep swing and an awareness of absurdities.
But this session — recorded on March 3, 2012, at the Dixieland Monterey Jazz Bash by the Bay — was seriously family-friendly in the most elevating way because Dave Caparone — Marc’s father — a superb swing trombonist, came along for the ride. Dave never studied Benny Morton, but he has a good deal of the Master’s warm, burry sound in solo and his neat, unhackneyed ensemble playing.
The cosmic syncopations the Brothers and family created acted as jazz pheronomes, so other players joined in, as you will see.
Swing, you cats!
LADY BE GOOD:
SOME OF THESE DAYS:
Allan Vache brought himself and his clarinet for LOVE IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER:
Mark Allen Jones couldn’t wait to hear Katie’s Second Avenue turn on BEI MIR BIS DU SCHOEN:
I GOT RHYTHM:
WRAP YOUR TROUBLES IN DREAMS:
MY HONEY’S LOVIN’ ARMS:
May your happiness increase.
Incidentally, I have it on good authority that Ralf is going to be forming a Southern California chapter of the Anti-Defamation League exclusively for the aid and comfort of washboard players. I’ve asked to be an honorary member, and remind the anti-washboardians that any instrument can swing when played with expertise and feeling. And yes, I would be happy if my sister married a washboard player — if he swung like Ralf. But she’s taken, so it might be a moot point.